I usually work down in Los Angeles, with my office in Burbank, when I am there, and I live in Santa Clarita. Going to work it is a total toss up if I go the 14 or the 5. On the way down, the drive to the 14 feels more efficient, but traffic can be a killer. If I go "off peak" then it is better for sure. If I take the 5 on the way home, I am on the freeway a bit longer and less "city" driving, but the traffic is usually worse and the distance is a bit further. Total distance going up the 14 is a mile less, and if I hit it right, I am up to near 5 miles of EV from the exit ramp at Newhall Av all the way to Magic Mountain. I just did it today.
My wife works up in Acton. She was the first to get a hybrid because of her drive and in the little Prius C was only running 44 MPG because of the climb up and topped out batteries on the way down. With care I can do better, but the A/C is a killer. The FE update should help a lot with being able to stay EV on the long down hills coming back.
I use cruise control a lot, and the ECO mode is so much better, but I agree, it is stil not perfect. In some situations I can do better. I think I am figuring out the charge schedule a bit more. When the battery is over 80% it will not charge at 2 bar acceleration like it does at 50% charge. Thanks to EV+ I had a very low batery when I left this morning so the ICE fired up right away, and I also noticed it was not showing charge at even very slight acceleration during the warm up. I had to be in a dead coast to see it go to arrow up charge. This seems very wasteful indeed.